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Accident at California Road Race Kills 8 Spectators

Authorities in the western U.S. state of California are investigating a crash at a popular off-road race that killed eight people. A dozen more were injured, some seriously.

The accident occurred Saturday (evening - 0240 GMT Sunday) just as the race, called the California 200, was starting. The driver of a truck participating in the race lost control. The vehicle plowed into a crowd of spectators who had gathered at a dry lake bed in southern California for the annual event.

The 200-mile race involving a variety of off-road vehicles was being held near the city of Lucerne Valley in the Mojave desert, 165 kilometers northeast of Los Angeles. It had been scheduled to last through the night before the accident brought it to an abrupt end.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.